The Ink Is Soiled — Nayantara Sahgal

I think the purported effectiveness of much of the literature of the past is overplayed here – though not the potential of liberation literature.

The Ink Is Soiled 

by Nayantara Sahgal

Considering the dangers and challenges we face within our own borders, and the changes we need to bring about in our society, we are fortunate that we have politically conscious novelists and poets among us, for politics, like everything else, is the material of fiction and poetry, as it is the material of all art. We would not have been stirred by some of the tragedies and traumas of the twentieth century but for the plays of Bertolt Brecht, Arthur Miller and Samuel Beckett, and the art of Picasso, not to mention many other works of European, American and Latin American fiction. The artist is a political animal, more so when the line between public events and private life disappears and vast numbers have to face the terrible consequences of public events in their private lives. Art cannot float in a void. It relates to, and is acutely sensitive to its environment.

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